Polytonic Greek on Android Smartphones

Jason Hare posted the following advice on the TextKit forum for getting Android smart phones to display polytonic Greek back in June. I thought I would share his advice here for those of you using Android phones to read this blog.

Download “Fontomizer” from the Android Market. It’s a free app. Install it. Open it and choose the Ubuntu-TTF font. Download and install it.

Go into Settings > Display > Font Style and choose Ubuntu. It displays polytonic Greek fantastically.

I hope this works for you.

The Verb in Koine Greek

There’s a wonderful discussion of Albert Rijksbaron’s book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, going on over at the B-Greek Forum. The participants are discussing the book one section at a time, comparing it’s observations on Classical Greek to the available data for the Hellenistic Period. While the discussion is focussed largely on the New Testament, there is some attempt to reach beyond that corpus to the wider early Christian literature, and perhaps even the wider Hellenistic Koiné.

Rijksbaron’s book gives a very good overview of the verb in the Classical Period. It would be great to see a parallel treatment for Hellenistic Greek. Perhaps this discussion, with participation from advanced students as well as seasoned professors, will lead to the eventual production of such a treatment.

Take a look.

Google Group: Ancient Greek Best Practices

Paul D. Nitz introduced me this week to a new Google Group entitled Ancient Greek Best Practices. The group is intended for discussion of “the Communicative Approach.” Here’s the way their welcome page explains it:

The Ancient Greek Best Practices Group exists to discuss communicative approaches to learning/teaching Greek.  This approach views Greek as communication, not code.  This discussion board is rather disinterested in debating whether the Grammar/Translation method is superior.  We are all convinced (or deeply interested) in a Communicative Approach to teaching Ancient Greek.

The Communicative Approach can include such methods as Total Physical Response  (TPR – James Asher) and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS – Blaine Ray), picture books and audio (Living Koine), “shadowing,” or other methods we will invent here on this discussion board.

You can join the group by here.

You can see Paul demonstrate the method with his students in Malawi on Youtube. He has posted videos of several lessons there.

I would like to thank Paul for sharing his work with me and invite him to tell us all more about it.

Updates to bibliographic entries for Bortone and Luraghi

I have updated the entries for the following two books

  • Luraghi, Silvia. On the meaning of prepositions and cases: Semantic roles in Ancient Greek. Studies in language companion series 67. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.
  • Bortone, Pietro. Greek prepositions from antiquity to the present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

in A Comprehensive Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics. The updates include a brief description of each book and a link to Mike Aubrey’s reviews.

Mike Aubrey’s review of 2 recent works on Greek Prepositions

Mike Aubrey has now completed his three-part review of two significant works on Greek Prepositions:

  • Luraghi, Silvia. On the meaning of prepositions and cases: Semantic roles in Ancient Greek. Studies in language companion series 67. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.
  • Bortone, Pietro. Greek prepositions from antiquity to the present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

You can read his review here:



B-Greek Forum

This is a very late notice of an important change to the most used discussion list related to the Greek text of the New Testament. I thought I had mentioned it before, but it appears I have not.

On May 30, 2011 the B-Greek email list became the B-Greek Forum. (Actually, the change just became public on that day. It had been in the works for some time.) If you are not familiar with B-Greek, I suggest you take a look at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/. The email list began in 1992 and has for the last 18 years been a very active place for discussion of the Greek texts of the New Testament. I was quite active on that list in the late 1990s, but dropped off the list because of the huge volume of email it produced.

The new forum format avoids that problem, allowing you to read what you want, and easily ignore the topics that don’t interest you.

I help moderate the Greek Language and Linguistics topic in the new forum.

Discourse Analysis and Textual Criticism

On June 21, Steve Runge posted a discussion of the placement of the phrase ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου in John 16:23 that can serve as a good example of the usefulness of discourse studies in resolving (or clarifying) difficult textual decisions. NA27 and SBLGNT place the phrase in different locations. Take a look at Steve’s discussion and the comments in response to it if you are interested in this topic.

SBL Greek Langauge and Linguistics Site

On June 30, while I was away at a retreat in the mountains of North Carolina with my daughter, Mike Aubrey announced over at ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ that the Greek Language & Linguistics section of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) has a new website up and running. You can find that site at


The site has preliminary abstracts for the papers that will be presented in November.

Here’s what the site says about its purpose:

This site has an informational purpose. While it provides some information from past meetings, it will mainly serve to post announcements about future meetings of the Section at SBL and provide details of the papers to be presented.

This seems to hint that more information on the papers will be forthcoming, but it’s hard to tell.

The Greek Language and Linguistics Section of the SBL holds two sessions at each meeting of the SBL. One is an “Open Session” often presenting papers on a wide variety of topics. The other session is “Thematic,” that is, focused on a single theme. This year’s thematic session will focus on discourse markers. If you are interested in discourse studies and their relation to Linguistics, you will want to read the abstracts for the “Thematic Session.” Follow the link above and scroll down to find them.